British bookies suspend betting on Greek euro exit
(LONDON) - British bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill have suspended betting on whether crisis-hit Greece will leave the eurozone, citing on Thursday political uncertainty in the country.
Athens was plunged into fresh crisis over the weekend as angry voters rejected austerity measures, leaving politicians struggling to form a viable government and raising fresh doubts over Greece's eurozone membership.
"While the uncertainty continues in Greece, we have suspended betting on all markets in relation to a withdrawal," a Ladbrokes spokesman told AFP.
"We will pay out on an official statement of intention (to withdraw). The odds were slashed to 1/3 from 4/6 this morning before we pulled it."
A bookmaker offering odds of 1/3 means someone would need to bet GBP 3 ($4.8, 3.7 euros) to win back just GBP 1 plus their stake.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Ladbrokes rival William Hill added that it had stopped taking new bets on which would be the first eurozone member to exit the bloc.
"As the Greek financial crisis continues, William Hill have suspended their market on which country will be the first to quit the eurozone -- for which Greece was the red hot favourite at 1/4," it said.
The group has also suspended bets on the euro ceasing to exist by December 2015.
William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe added: "We have decided to take down these markets until the situation calms down a little. Greece had been favourite to be the first to leave for some while."
Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.